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Life Lesson from a Frugal Halloween Costume

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Sent from reader, Heather:

Hi Hip2Save! I just wanted to share my kids really frugal yet fun Halloween costumes this year!

Here’s the price breakdown:

My younger son wanted to be Jack Skellington and his dog to be Zero, so with a quick trip to the thrift store for an old jacket, pants and a white bed sheet ($2.50 for all 3) and a few tiny items from Michaels and the dollar store including acrylic paint, a sheet of felt, elastic and a tiny plastic pumpkin ($4 spent), we spent a total of about $7 on their costumes.

My other son insisted on being a headless chef (? LOL) so with another trip to the thrift store for an old pillow to use the stuffing out of, an apron and hat ($3 total), we paired that with an old shirt and dress pants that were my husbands and a tin pan and spatula as plastic hands from the dollar tree ($4 total).

So in all, I was able to make 3 costumes and buy some face paint from Michaels with the 50% off coupon (by the way, they sell the best face paint I’ve ever found!) and not spend more than $20!

And while my kids may have some of the cheapest costumes, they also are so excited to have ones that no one else will have. I am always so grateful to Hip2Save and the Hip2Save community for always inspiring me to not only save money and make it a lifestyle habit but to have fun and make our lives better because of it.

I hope my boys will cherish these years when they look back and realize…

It’s not the amount of money you spend on something, it’s the amount of heart you put into it. ❤️

Happy Halloween Hip2Save!!


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique photo to share?! Email us at Every Friday, we post one photo, submitted by a Hip2Save reader, that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. If your photo is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon e-card!

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Comments 24

  1. Catalina

    wow… you are so creative… good job with those costumes!

  2. Heather

    Very impressive! My mom was resourceful like this and I look back on our Halloween photos with such admiration – I am sure yours will too!

  3. jaci

    Awesome! So creative! One of my faves Jack!

  4. Sara

    I love that their so unique too! Not another spider man! They look awesome!

  5. Oakley121511

    Great job! Their costumes look so good!

  6. Susan

    These are so cool. Great job.

  7. Nancy

    They are awesome costumes!

  8. jen

    I am so impressed!

  9. HL

    Such a great job! I wish I had an ounce of your creativity!!!

  10. Lpmousse

    I have a girl who will wear a Barbie dress up dress we got as a hand me down, and be a Queen Princess Barbie Mommy. 💕

  11. Susan Crawford

    Your costumes are cute and I like the frugal part. My niece bought her son’s costume at an kids consignment store for $8.50. Much cheaper than what ever else they were planning.

    • Casey Meyers

      Yes great place to look. My Goodwill has several.

  12. Casey Meyers

    Great job on being so creative and thrifty. A lot of costumes I have seen cost an arm and a leg. Keep in mind kids were them one night.

  13. Juma

    Awesome they look adorably cute. Great job with planning and putting together such great costumes. First prize is a three way tie. Happy Halloween

  14. tia in boise

    love the costumes and that they were homemade! some of my greatest memories of my children as young people is making most of their Halloween costumes. (i always brag that i made most of them from hot glue guns and sweatsuits!) Harry Potter and Ron Weasly; ketchup and mustard; 2 Batmen; TMNTs; 2 of the 101 Dalmations; Energizer Bunny…

  15. K

    Great creativity with the costumes, love the headless chef one especially!

  16. Cami

    These look so good! Very creative!! Homemade costumes are the best. Im 27 and LOVE making my costumes. Agreed they make the best memories and so fun to look back on them

  17. Angela

    I love zero! So creative! The headless chef made me laugh – it looks so good too!

  18. Melissa Rice

    I always buy my costumes from Halloween clearance at 90% off and have not payed more than $5.
    Everyone is happy!

  19. Lindsay

    Love this post!! You did a great job!!

  20. Nancy Reese

    Homemade (and inexpensive) are THE best costumes. Yours turned out awesome! One year my mom made me a “pile of leaves.” We took a big black trash bag, cut a hole for my head at the bottom, smeared glue all over it and just by going outside, put leaves on it, like tons of them, a bit more glue, more leaves, etc. until it was all covered. Easy peasy, inexpensive, and believe it or not, I won “most original” costume in my class that year and it’s something I will never forget. And the real nice thing was if a few leaves fell off it wasn’t a big deal because this time of year (in most areas) there are leaves everywhere anyway. And another great thing was you could whatever you want underneath. Sure beats spending money on those store-bought costumes. Thanks for letting me share a great memory.

  21. chantel Chapman

    I love your Jack Skellington costume! The ones you can buy look cheap and are expensive. 🙁 I made a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man for my son’s 1st Halloween with just some felt and a white onesie(he’s super pale so his fat bare baby arms and legs were perfect. . It is still my favorite costume that my kids have worn.

    I personally don’t mind paying a good amount of money for a costume that is decent quality and will be used for pretend play after Halloween though. My son has been Spiderman nearly every year. I always get him a Disney Store costume though because while it costs about $10 more than one from Walmart or Target I know he will play with it until he outgrows it and it will hold up. Sometimes it is worth it to pay just a little more.

    • Jane

      Agree if they will do dress up later. So far I have not had a “dress up” kid. Amazing how different the play style of each of my kiddos is. Makes for lots of different toys.

  22. Elizabeth M

    Love it! I do the same thing. Last year my son was Pennywise from It. All thrifted items except the trim purchased at Hobby Lobby at 50% off.
    My daughter was the Mad Hatter.

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